Russian combat vessel escorted 13 convoys, totaling 51 ships, through the dangerous waters off the Somali coast.
The Russian Baltic Fleet's frigate Neustrashimy (Fearless) protected over 50 commercial ships from pirates off the Somali coast in 2008, a Russian Navy spokesman said on Tuesday. The missile frigate has been operating off the Horn of Africa according to international maritime law and agreements since the end of October. "During its mission in the Gulf of Aden, the Russian combat vessel escorted 13 convoys, totaling 51 ships, through the dangerous waters [off the Somali coast]," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.
Dygalo said the frigate would continue its mission until mid-January and would be replaced by another Russian combat ship.
Pirates have been increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, where over 120 ships have been attacked so far this year, with around 40 vessels seized. The navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off the coast of the East African nation.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in December authorizing countries and multinational organizations involved in tackling piracy to "undertake all necessary measures in Somalia, including in its airspace" to prevent "acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea."
Resolution 1851 (2008), which was drafted by the United States, will be in force for one year.